November 29, 2005 Present Like A Pro Newsletter
Inspiring You to Discover, Develop, & Delight in Your Strengths
Welcome fellow speaker! This weekly newsletter from Present Like A Pro is here to provide you with on-going tips and inspiration as you develop your skills as a speaker. In every issue are practical tools that you can use in your next presentation.

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This edition: 1,184 words; 2-3 minute read

Show Me A Sign
by Sara Schaffer   Creatively and Clearly Communicate Your Message
I had my GPS unit on the dashboard and the printed internet directions laying on the passenger seat next to me. Stapled to the printed pages was a map and an email with directions from the meeting planner. With all this help, I was still relieved when I saw the hotel where I would be speaking that day.

Do you use presentation software or handouts? Perhaps you prepare your listeners for your talks as much as I had prepared to find my speaking location. Even so, they will also appreciate knowing when they have arrived. Here are 3 road signs you can give your listeners as you Present Like A Pro!

Sign 1 - Use words. If you use presentation software or handouts, you probably have included the words of your main ideas on the screen and pages. When you get to each point, also be sure to verbalize it. For example, "This is the first of four items on your agenda." Make the information and learning clear and easy for your audience.

Sign 2 - Use gestures. Another way to signal the arrival at a main idea or turning point is with body language. For a new idea, you may stand in a new spot on the stage or use a gesture to emphasize it. Do not, however, use a laser pointer to underline text on a screen. This will distract and not reinforce your point.

Sign 3 - Use vocal variety. We communicate a lot through the tone and volume of our voices. Slow down, get quiet, speed up, or speak loudly to indicate that you are at a significant spot in your presentation. Most importantly, to mark the end of a section, pause. Pausing creates space between a major point and supporting information.


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No matter how many maps I use, I'm relieved when I get to my destination. If you have taken the time to prepare your listeners with presentation software and handouts, be sure to follow them as you speak and reassure your audiences when you have arrived at each major idea.

Be creative with how you communicate and present your message. Make the learning easy by simply stating each main idea. Then, consider gestures and body language that can also mark new parts of your presentation. Lastly, decide how you will speak and when you will pause to truly make your message clear and impactful. When you show your audiences signs, you Present Like A Pro!

Why Are You So Interesting?
  Secrets of Being Captivating from A Pro
The speaker had been talking for over 90 minutes, and I was hoping that he wouldn't stop. I was sitting with a large group in a medium sized conference room. He was making us laugh, cry, and THINK. I felt challenged, intrigued, entertained, and completely caught up in the presentation.

What made him so engaging? What can we learn from him to create even a little bit of the same feeling for our listeners? Though there were pages of notes I took about his presentation style, here are several secrets I gleaned from watching Mike McKinley Present Like A Pro!

He moved. He started off stage and then stepped on. Then off. Then on. He also walked into the audience. By using a lavaliere microphone he was able to walk about freely and use big gestures. He spoke with his whole being, not just words.

He meant it. His talk to a group of speaking professionals was a little out of his usual niche. However, Mr. McKinley was clearly prepared and excited about his subject matter. He took the time and effort to make the content powerful and relevant to his audience. Then he delivered it with passion.

He marketed subtly. Perhaps what I appreciated most was his ability to leave us wanting to hear more, learn more, and even buy more. He didn't do this by holding up his book or putting an overt commercial in his talk. Instead, he simply gave a talk full of content and client stories.

In addition to the above, he was incredibly funny while also at times sharing touching stories. He created a terrific balance between "humor/content" as he referred to it. Most importantly, however, he was completely himself. He didn't imitate other great presenters. Michael McKinley was entirely successful at being himself.

We all know when we have seen a true pro. We leave feeling satisfied, challenged, and wanting to recreate the great experience we just had. Even more telling is when we leave thinking about how our own lives were enriched, not about what a great job the speaker did. That's a goal to reach for in our talks, and it is the mark of someone truly interesting!

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Need A Speaker? In addition to presentation coaching, Sara regularly speaks to corporate and community groups. Whether you are looking for something educational, motivational or inspirational, she will add humor and depth to your next special event. For booking information, contact Sara today at: 303-818-2509 or

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